Friday, 17 October 2008

Whitestone Cliffe and Ingleby Incline

Two amazing crags that myself and Franco have paid very little attention too really. Whitestone is the crowning jewel of Moors climbing, it encorporates everything that is to be expected from a quality venue; Looseness, Choss, sandbagging and most importantly, Death.
It stands facing the vale of York and anyone drivingup the A19 will be able to see it and it has a awesome attraction that can either lure climbers in or send them running never to return, im glad im not the latter.
It has an almost cult-following attracting all kinds of climbers from alpinsts and aspiring alpinsts such as Chris Woodal and Ian Jackson, to standard climbers like myself. It's towers of teetering choss, a mixture between Calcareous Sandstones, Dolomitic Limestone and the odd 'Dogger' make for an awe inspiring crag, the top section is apparntly Calcareous GRIT!.
The majority of visits are for the classic moors line, of 'The Nightwatch' which if you haven't done, you should. It's absolutely amazing and is solid taking as much gear as you would like although VS 4b may feel slightly sandbagged, if you are not familiar to the rock and it has an almost 'mountain crag' feel to it, which can be quite offputting considering the tame environment you were in 10 minutes before arriving!
I found myself being talked into Whitestone, which i was happy about but upon arriving found myself gearing up for 'Jurassic Scarp' an E3 5b on loose rock, with the odd sling runner for pro. I backed off the first pitch and franco gave it a determined attempt. He also decided against it, about halfway up.
Then it was my turn to climb 'The Nightwatch'. I have climbed on the moors, nearly a year and a half properly and i still hadn't climbed this line which is realistically 4 grades below my standard onsight level. However, it still felt up there and if i had climbed it onsight as an FA i would have been tempted to slap E1 on it! However, there are hunderds of holds in hindsight and all the gear you could want, especially thread runners...which lets face it are bomber! I think if you take your time and have ALOT of gear and quickdraws then it is an amazing route at the grade. Apparently, if Ken Wilson had known of its existance, he would have put it in classic rock.
After my ascent i walked off with the camera and took photos of Franco climbing the line Solo. He had climbed it previously and knew that there was always holds which is why, i said in hindsight it's probably VS+ rather than HVS or E1!!!.

Fantastic crag, with a superb classic line amongst others which are well worth doing. If you have ever considered going, but then carried on down the A19 to the Yorkshire Grit or the Peak, next time, spend the day here.

The next day, we travelled to a more local crag. Ingleby Incline is blessed with a 40minute walk in, which leads to a wonderfully located crag, which exhibits the legendary moors sandbag. Many of the grades, if below E1ish, are about 2 grades lower than they should be, many of hte VS's are possbly worth HVS and Extremes are about 1 less or so we've found so far!
I had been before with franco soloing many of the slightly sandbagged extremes, which are generally gearless or micro routes / unrope worthy.
However, this time i returned for another reason. This was to climbed YET another moors classic i was yet to attempt. Cozy Corner, tackles the superb wide crack just to the right of one of the largest roofs on the Moors. It goes at VD, which it probably would be if you have size 4 and 5 cams, however if illequiped with micro nuts and cams then you would probably find it a bit intimidating!

I soloed the line in true moors fashion, offwidth-ing and footjamming the central section. And topped out a happy chappy! It's a great line! :-)
After this i checked the other buttresses i was yet to see and also looked at Time Captain, a route on my wishlist. It looked doable, although i may resort to practice if its E4, but i'd rather not!Running around like a headless chicken, Franco, directed me in the direction of an idea of a new route he had. We swanned up the inital wall to the overhang and placed some gear. He then pulled around the roof and then had a minor epic topping out via a very thin crack which when i followed him up was jammed full of very poor Rp's. 'They'd be Reet' was his statement as i topped on on the slopey slab above It went at about E3/5 5c/6a.
I then set about on the same route, but with time running out and my inability to climb technically, i reached right before falling off!!! This lead into the Crack of a HardSevere, but the moves leading over the overlap and the balancy reach rightwards, meant it was still quite difficult, perhaps 5b. The gear was quite poor being shallow friends, so E2 5b seemed like a decent grade for the line however, it would probably be HVS if we stuck to moors principles.
I called it a cop out finish but renamed it on the way down as i was running to get back in time for my pickup for 5 a side football. It was a good route, as it incorperated the inital roof difficulty and the gear is dodgey (shallow cams) so we decided 'Five-a-Side Finish' was worthy of a low E2 5b.

Cringle Moor

It's a shame this crag is north facing, as it has some stunning looking lines. I had wanted to visit for sometime to look at the 'largest roof in Cleveland' which is climbed by an E4. However, when finally seeing this line i was disapointed. In all seriousness, its a great looking line! but it wasn't quite as i imagined. I expected overhanging jamming however its more like a 4metre roof over a corner. Fair do's, its a line i certainly want to do, but whether or not the start crack will ever dry with these crap summers we have, is another issue.
Franco and I decided to solo a couple of routes to warm ourselves up, as the freezing fog was doing its best to wet everything and make us cold. We soloed 'The Voice' a delicate E1 that stops half way up the crag and then climbed 'Tell Chris Cragg's Nowt!' a HVS F.A that we put up on the upper tier. The name originates from the old UKC days, when we made our dislike for Rockfax guides apparent - however, it was all in good humour.

After Franco then, annoyed about not being able to climb 'Wedge Route' set about on a First Free Ascent of 'Terry's Dilema'. The Dilema, was commiting to the overhanging crack off a very poor slopey, filthy ledge. However, the climbing is protectable and you fall into space. As i found out!